CLEVELAND (WJW) — The Fox 8 I-Team has found that a Cleveland rapper is in custody after weeks on the run while he faced charges of human trafficking. He was accused of running a human trafficking ring and branding his victims with the name of his business, according to state prosecutors.
The rapper and music producer Dawud Sami, born Thomas Bradford and known as “Officially GP” — or “Officially Got Paper” — was indicted on January 24 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on felony counts related to human trafficking, compelling prostitution and promoting prostitution, according to a news release from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
Sami is charged with two counts of trafficking in persons, two counts of compelling prostitution, and two counts of promoting prostitution, according to court documents from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
These charges stem from September 1, 2017, through November 30, 2022, the documents say.
Sami, 42, of Cleveland, operates Red Karpet Entertainment along East 185th Street in Cleveland, according to court documents.
Tipsters told the Cuyahoga County-led Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force that Sami was operating a human trafficking ring and advertising sex for sale online. An investigation found Sami branded the women with “Red Karpet” tattoos, authorities said. He allegedly used the illicit proceeds to buy multiple luxury cars and a house, using his victims’ identities.
Multiple sources say Sami’s lawyers worked out a day for him to surrender. He has pleaded not guilty.
An undercover agent with the Northeast Ohio human trafficking task force recently talked about the case with the I-Team.
“I think what’s so shocking and alarming to our unit about this case is just his brazenness and bragging about it in open forum,” the undercover agent said. “There was always the threat of violence to the victims and he’s a physically intimidating person”
According to court documents, Sami admittedly calls himself a “pimp” in his music videos.
Sami appeared in court on February 3, where his bond was set at $10,000, according to court documents.